Bates College is planning to participate in spring sports in the coming months.

The presidents of the New England Small College Athletic Conference announced in a news release Tuesday that the conference’s institutions have agreed on a plan for a limited schedule of conference competition for the spring.

Along with that announcement was a message from Bates College that said, “Bates Athletics intends to take advantage of every possible opportunity to compete while following all college and state public health protocols.”

The NESCAC plan said that each school will make its own decision about whether to participate in spring sports, based on such things as local, state and school policies and travel restrictions.

A minimum of six schools is needed for a sport to be play what the release called “competition within abbreviated regional schedules from mid-April to mid-May.”

The spring sports that can be included in this plan, if enough schools allow participation, are baseball, men’s and women’s golf, men’s and women’s lacrosse, men’s and women’s rowing, softball, men’s and women’s tennis, and men’s and women’s outdoor track and field.

Protocols based on the COVID-19 pandemic have been established by conference athletic directors and medical personnel and experts.

“These protocols exceed NCAA guidance and complement the robust COVID-19 testing already taking place on NESCAC campuses,” the news release said.

Spectators will be limited to “individuals who are part of the host institution’s testing protocol.”

The conference presidents said that the institutions will continue to monitor the pandemic, and make changes as necessary.

“The past year has posed an extraordinary set of challenges,” the news release said. “We are grateful to all members of our communities for the strength and resilience they have shown. As the vaccine rollout accelerates, we are optimistic we can return to a more typical collegiate experience next year.”

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